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Accelerator® Launches Business Fellowship for Student-Athletes  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2019, 09:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Accelerator® Launches Business Fellowship for Student-Athletes
Accelerator® – Business Fellowship for Student-Athletes is the first business immersion program specifically designed for high performing student-athletes. Fellows are fully immersed in a transformational living-learning experience, taking foundational and advanced courses from renowned Vanderbilt faculty, learning directly from business executives, and applying new skills to real projects in teams. On-campus living and rigorous scheduling fosters powerful, lifelong bonds within project teams and cohort, comprised of student-athletes from institutions across the nation. Fellows learn to leverage their strengths and foster professional and academic growth with career mentorship.

Running from May 16-30, 2020, the Fellowship is hosted at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management in the heart of Nashville, TN, one of the most exciting cities in the nation for young professionals.

“We are excited to offer Accelerator® – Business Fellowship for Student-Athletes to augment students’ career development,” said M. Eric Johnson, Ralph Owen Dean of Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management. “Leadership is a contact sport. The fellowship will spark student-athletes to activate their business careers after they have finished competing on the field or court.”

“We are proud to introduce this exciting new program to our student-athletes, while welcoming other student-athletes from around the nation to campus,” said Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor Athletics and University Affairs, Athletics Director Malcolm Turner. “It’s vitally important that we prepare young men and women for their careers and expose them to new ideas, mentors and possibilities in the business world. The Accelerator program eliminates the biggest obstacle for student-athletes – their limited free time – and allows them to create a personalized program of study to boost their career prospects. The experience will be a game-changer in their lives.”

Fellows have the opportunity to add real experience to their resumes, and skills that translate to their academic, athletic, and professional worlds. This Fellowship is designed to empower student-athletes who have shown exceptional academic and professional potential, possess strong personal drive, and show an interest in career development. Fellows join an elite and supportive team tailor-made for their ambitious goals. Once established in careers, Fellow alumni will serve as mentors to the current class.

Fellows, nominated by their home institutions, are highly motivated student-athletes who desire to leverage their leadership potential and have shown exceptional academic or professional potential. Program fees may be may be covered by partnering athletic departments at no expense to students, demonstrating the commitment of NCAA programs to academic and professional development for our next generation of leaders. The 2020 program cost includes: round-trip domestic flight, tuition and program materials, on-campus housing, all meals and nutrition, access to fitness facility, and group transportation (if applicable).

To nominate student athletes or request specific information, please contact Accelerator Director Greg Harvey at Gregory.Harvey@vanderbilt.edu. For more information about the fellowship program, click here.

“For years, student-athletes have been asking for an opportunity to strengthen their talents off the field, specifically in the world of business. I truly believe that this Accelerator Program is a productive step towards fulfilling that need. Fellows will be given the opportunity to challenge themselves in unique ways, network with like-minded student-athletes, and gain real-world experience to push them ahead of their competition. This program has been thoughtfully developed and will allow student-athletes to take advantage of important resources that were once out of reach. It is an opportunity that I wish was available when I was in school. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.”

—Oren Burks, Former Vanderbilt football player, Current member of the Green Bay Packers

“The Accelerator program is a great opportunity for student-athletes to garner experience, develop networks, and learn from mentors. This invaluable opportunity to not only learn from some of the leading professors in the world, but to collaborate with other student athletes from different backgrounds, will unequivocally prepare them for success in the professional world. This program will help student-athletes as they transition into life after competition and prepare them for their careers. I’m excited to see the steps being taken to prepare student-athletes for life after sports.”

—Simone Charley, Former Vanderbilt soccer player & track athlete, Current member of Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League

“Accelerator – Business Immersions at Vanderbilt are the most hands-on business programs in the country. Leveraging student-athletes unique collegiate experience, the fellowship will enhance each student’s business skills, drive and leadership. Fellows will be able to tackle new challenges, successfully launch careers in business and prepare for life after athletics.”

—Gregory Harvey, Director, Accelerator

“Student-athletes have a double-layered expectation on their leadership: perform on the field, in business, and in our communities. Our fellowship program promises tools for impact to student-athletes as they look toward mission-driven careers and lives. Our student-athletes work hard and are committed to the communities that have supported them. We seek to further equip these leaders with the business acumen and network to complement their passion to maximize their impact.”

—Mario Avila, Director, Turner Family Center for Social Ventures

The post Accelerator® Launches Business Fellowship for Student-Athletes appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Where Are They Now? Catching Up with the MSF Class of 2014  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2019, 08:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Where Are They Now? Catching Up with the MSF Class of 2014
The Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program helps students develop the necessary skills, knowledge, and networks to start their financial career. After earning the degree, Vanderbilt Business alumni continue to grow by developing further skills and expertise in the workplace. We spoke with three MSF graduates from the Class of 2014 to see how their careers have progressed over the last five years.

Ben Akan, Corporate Finance Manager, Aaron’s Inc.

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Ben Akan

Akan graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Business Administration and Finance. After a few years working in the finance field, he decided to go back to school. “I wanted to rebrand myself as well as have another opportunity for on-campus recruiting and expand my finance knowledge base a little bit,” he said. After doing some research and talking to different people who were familiar with MSF programs, he decided to enroll in the Vanderbilt MSF program.

The rigorous curriculum helped Akan develop a strong foundation in investment banking. He learned skills such as financial modeling, which he found extremely useful later in his career. “The banking classes were interesting with a bunch of case studies and acquisition, which was also something that confirmed my decision to focus on investment banking, specifically mergers and acquisitions,” Akan said.

Akan accepted a job offer as an investment banking analyst at Bowstring Advisors (formerly CHILDS Advisory Partners). He worked three years in banking and then realized he wanted to see the business side of investment banking while continuing to work on acquisitions, which he enjoyed. “I wanted to do some business in banking… but I also wanted to work on transactions from the operational standpoint,” he said.

The perfect opportunity came in the form of a corporate finance manager position at Aaron’s, Inc. His current job allows him to pursue his interests while doing what he enjoyed. “I still get to work in transactions like acquisitions and at the same time I get to interact with all different parts of the business,” Akan said.

Josh Hamrick, Vice President, HealthEdge Investment Partners

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Josh Hamrick

As Hamrick was finishing his undergraduate degree at Florida State University, he decided that he wanted to pursue a career in investment banking. Knowing that the Vanderbilt MSF program had placed graduates into notable investment banks in previous years, Hamrick chose Vanderbilt Business to help leverage his career. “I saw that there was a clear line of sight to the career track that I wanted to be on. (I also chose it) because of the academic program — I knew the curriculum would be good as well,” Hamrick said.

Hamrick especially appreciated how he could tailor his MSF curriculum to match his career. “(The curriculum) is really customizable for students as far as where they wanted their career to go. For me, all those skills from the classes that we took on corporate finance, accounting, and private equity are still relevant to me today,” Hamrick said.

In addition, the Career Management Center helped him prepare for interviews for both on-campus and off-campus recruiting and network with alumni. “The extracurriculars like financial modeling, training, modeling or restructuring, and soft skills for interviewing were all very helpful for preparing for interviews and preparing for a career,” he said.

Right out of school, Hamrick entered an investment banking program at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. He felt that his graduate-level finance courses helped him stand out during the training. “It was really helpful going into the job to be a little bit ahead, especially with all the training and preparation that helped me get placed into my top choice, which was the mergers and acquisitions group,” Hamrick said.

After a couple of years working with private companies, mergers, and acquisitions, Hamrick received an offer to work HealthEdge Investment Partners as an associate investment banker. Like at his previous job, he would keep work in private equity. However, the offer at HealthEdge was compelling since it would allow him to work in healthcare with entrepreneurs. He accepted the offer, and he was recently promoted to Vice President in the company.

Alena Lagunina, Investment Banking Associate, Deutsche Bank

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Alena Lagunina

Alena first started considering a Masters in Finance degree during her first year out of college, when she was working at a boutique mergers and acquisitions firm in Washington, D.C. She liked her job and wanted to pursue Investment Banking as a career but thought it would be better to be part of a larger firm at the beginning of her career. She also wanted to boost her network and solidify technical skills. In the search for the right program, she visited Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management, which one of her friends was attending at the time, and thought it was the right school for her.

Alena credits her holistic understanding of finance to the intense MSF courses. “(The program) gives you this well-rounded knowledge base, where you are prepared to tackle any problem, and teaches you that very few things in reality are impossible” she said, laughing. She also stated that one of the best things about the program was gaining lifelong friends. “I’ve gained some really great friends whom I’ve studied and worked with and whom I continue to be friends with up to this day. The network that you gain is invaluable, not just on the professional level (but) also on the personal level,” she said.

Upon graduation, Lagunina entered the capital markets graduate program at Deutsche Bank, landing on the Debt Capital Markets desk focusing on clients in the Aviation vertical. “I think of capital markets jobs as of a hybrid between traditional investment banking and sales and trading in terms of the nature of work: you pay close attention to the markets, but are still working with (mostly) corporate clients advising on their funding needs and capital structure, projects are faster paced than in IB, teams are very lean and you get a lot of client exposure and responsibilities on day one, although not as quickly as in S&T. It’s a great place to launch a career if you’re somebody interested in markets, and it’s also somewhat friendlier in terms of work-life balance,” Lagunina said.

Recently, Lagunina transitioned into the Global Industrials Group, shifting focus from advising on funding needs to strategic development and M&A, although she is still focusing on clients within the Transportation vertical. “I’ve built a great skillset and understanding of the industry at my previous desk and think this transition presents a great opportunity to ‘close the loop’ on the remainder of corporate finance and be a better-rounded professional,” she said.

The post Where Are They Now? Catching Up with the MSF Class of 2014 appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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How Summer Grant Recipient Teddy Dinker (MBA’20) is Launching “TripAdv  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2019, 08:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: How Summer Grant Recipient Teddy Dinker (MBA’20) is Launching “TripAdvisor for Vacation Rentals”
Most MBAs use the summer between their first and second years to intern at a company in the hopes of earning a full-time offer — but not every student wants a traditional corporate job. For MBAs interested in a more entrepreneurial path, Vanderbilt Business offers the chance to compete for the Summer Grants. Each year, up to three first-year MBA student entrepreneurs are awarded $15,000 to launch their business during the summer instead of taking an internship.

This year, one student received the grant: Teddy Dinker (MBA’20). We caught up with Dinker to learn more about his entrepreneurial background, his initial startup idea, and how the grant helped him further develop his company.

His Background

Image
Teddy Dinker

Dinker was set on being an entrepreneur even before he entered the MBA program. Working summers in his dad’s company — which personalized financial card products for banks and credit unions — helped him learn the ins and outs of running a business. “I feel like once you kind of get a taste of (entrepreneurship), it’s hard to do anything else. I like the idea of… building a culture, building an identity. I think I have a much easier time doing that than I do fitting into something else or coming to work in a cubicle from nine to five,” he said.

After working in sales for a bit, Dinker decided to go back to school to develop a deeper understanding of the technical parts of a business, such as finance and operations, for his entrepreneurial career. During his first year of the MBA program, he gained a lot of knowledge from not only his classes but also discussions with professors like Jon Lehman and chats with alumni. “If you want to get mentorship, if you want to find experts on what you’re trying to do, you can get them here or through the alumni network,” Dinker said. “I feel like I’ve gotten more out of the (Vanderbilt Business) experience than what I paid so it’s always good.”

His Big Idea

Dinker’s idea for his grant proposal started with his friend, who managed several vacation rentals in Nashville. The concept, called Hostmost, is like a TripAdvisor for vacation rentals and alternative lodgings such as Airbnb. Travelers can use the platform to book tours, activities, experiences, and restaurants while vacation rental managers use it to offer deals and increase brand awareness.

To test their idea, Dinker and his friend launched a dummy website to see whether guests would use it to figure out things to do in Nashville and leave positive comments in their reviews on his friend’s listings. There was positive data for both, which encouraged Dinker and his friend to reach out to other Airbnb groups nearby.

After realizing that there was broad interest in the idea across the market, Dinker went to Michael Bryant, the Director of the Vanderbilt Business Center for Entrepreneurship. “I said, ‘Hey, look, this is this is where we are. We have a user base. We can understand where we want to go with the revenue model,’” Dinker said.

Working with Bryant, he refined his grant proposal and got it approved by Dean M. Eric Johnson. Dinker used the grant money to work on the idea during the summer and into his second year, focusing on companies that manage from 50 to 100 vacation rentals. The grant helped cover legal fees, the process of setting up an LLC, and the operating agreement. It also helped Dinker hire a professional design team to build out a real website.

Looking forward, Dinker will be launching the Hostmost website later this month and also just announced a partnership with Nashville Area Short Term Rental Association. “We’re trying to go after a channel that we feel hasn’t really been explored yet,” Dinker said. “I think we’ve gotten to that point where we feel like we have enough momentum. (The grant) has been immensely helpful.”

The post How Summer Grant Recipient Teddy Dinker (MBA’20) is Launching “TripAdvisor for Vacation Rentals” appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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How Summer Grant Recipient Teddy Dinker (MBA’20) is Launching “TripAdv  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2019, 09:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: How Summer Grant Recipient Teddy Dinker (MBA’20) is Launching “TripAdvisor for Vacation Rental Managers”
Most MBAs use the summer between their first and second years to intern at a company in the hopes of earning a full-time offer — but not every student wants a traditional corporate job. For MBAs interested in a more entrepreneurial path, Vanderbilt Business offers the chance to compete for the Summer Grants. Each year, up to three first-year MBA student entrepreneurs are awarded $15,000 to launch their business during the summer instead of taking an internship.

This year, one student received the grant: Teddy Dinker (MBA’20). We caught up with Dinker to learn more about his entrepreneurial background, his initial startup idea, and how the grant helped him further develop his company.

His Background

Image
Teddy Dinker

Dinker was set on being an entrepreneur even before he entered the MBA program. Working summers in his dad’s company — which personalized financial card products for banks and credit unions — helped him learn the ins and outs of running a business. “I feel like once you kind of get a taste of (entrepreneurship), it’s hard to do anything else. I like the idea of… building a culture, building an identity. I think I have a much easier time doing that than I do fitting into something else or coming to work in a cubicle from nine to five,” he said.

After working in sales for a bit, Dinker decided to go back to school to develop a deeper understanding of the technical parts of a business, such as finance and operations, for his entrepreneurial career. During his first year of the MBA program, he gained a lot of knowledge from not only his classes but also discussions with professors like Jon Lehman and chats with alumni. “If you want to get mentorship, if you want to find experts on what you’re trying to do, you can get them here or through the alumni network,” Dinker said. “I feel like I’ve gotten more out of the (Vanderbilt Business) experience than what I paid so it’s always good.”

His Big Idea

Dinker’s idea for his grant proposal started with his friend, who managed several vacation rentals in Nashville. The concept, called Hostmost, is like a TripAdvisor for vacation rentals and alternative lodgings such as Airbnb. Travelers can use the platform to book tours, activities, experiences, and restaurants while vacation rental managers use it to offer deals and increase brand awareness.

To test their idea, Dinker and his friend launched a dummy website to see whether guests would use it to figure out things to do in Nashville and leave positive comments in their reviews on his friend’s listings. There was positive data for both, which encouraged Dinker and his friend to reach out to other Airbnb groups nearby.

After realizing that there was broad interest in the idea across the market, Dinker went to Michael Bryant, the Director of the Vanderbilt Business Center for Entrepreneurship. “I said, ‘Hey, look, this is this is where we are. We have a user base. We can understand where we want to go with the revenue model,’” Dinker said.

Working with Bryant, he refined his grant proposal and got it approved by Dean M. Eric Johnson. Dinker used the grant money to work on the idea during the summer and into his second year, focusing on companies that manage from 50 to 100 vacation rentals. The grant helped cover legal fees, the process of setting up an LLC, and the operating agreement. It also helped Dinker hire a professional design team to build out a real website.

Looking forward, Dinker will be launching the Hostmost website later this month and also just announced a partnership with Nashville Area Short Term Rental Association. “We’re trying to go after a channel that we feel hasn’t really been explored yet,” Dinker said. “I think we’ve gotten to that point where we feel like we have enough momentum. (The grant) has been immensely helpful.”

The post How Summer Grant Recipient Teddy Dinker (MBA’20) is Launching “TripAdvisor for Vacation Rental Managers” appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Finance Treks Help Students Network with Bankers in NYC and Charlotte  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2019, 09:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Finance Treks Help Students Network with Bankers in NYC and Charlotte
Every year around fall break, the Vanderbilt Business Career Management Center (CMC) plans treks to two major finance hubs: New York, NY, and Charlotte, NC. The treks happen right before recruiting kicks off for investment banking internships, and students use the trips to network with alumni, recruiters, and other employees who are instrumental in the job search process.

This year, students visited 10 different banks and financial firms on the Finance Treks: Wells Fargo, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Piper Jaffray, Deloitte Corporate Finance, Jefferies, Goldman Sachs, RBC Capital Markets, Houlihan Lokey, UBS, and Cain Brothers. Below, three first-year MBAs explain why they chose to attend the Finance Treks and how they found the experience valuable.

Jarvis Werkhaven (MBA’21)

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Jarvis Werkhaven

Coming into Owen, I was interested in pursuing a career in investment banking and attended both the Wall Street and Charlotte Treks over fall break. I was excited to experience the industry firsthand by visiting banks, meeting alumni, and learning about their deal flow and culture.

Prior to the trek, the Career Management Center (CMC) and second-year MBAs worked diligently to help students understand the investment banking recruiting process and prepare us for networking with employers. This proved invaluable, as we met with 10 different banks throughout the week for formal info sessions and social receptions. I was amazed to see the strength of the Owen alumni base and made many connections that have allowed me to gain traction in the recruiting process.

Visiting both middle market firms and bulge bracket banks in such an accelerated timeframe afforded us the unique opportunity to evaluate each bank and determine our best personal “fit.” I discovered that culture was crucial for me; personally, I was attracted to banks that clearly outlined the role of an associate, provided ample opportunities for junior bankers, and demonstrated a commitment to training and development. I was initially surprised at the variety of opportunities available and motivated to dedicate myself to finding the right one for me.

Overall, the trek highlighted the investment banking landscape and served as a key platform for the recruiting process. In addition, the cohort on the trip cultivated a strong bond and motivated us for a career in the financial services industry. —Jarvis Werkhaven

Hannah Turnbull (MBA’21)

Image
Hannah Turnbull

By attending the Wall Street Finance Trek in NYC, I was able to solidify my path forward for internship recruitment. The trek gave me increased opportunities to interact with CMC coaches, second years, and practitioners in the finance field.

I have an engineering background and started the MBA program ready to learn about any and all industries until one piqued my interest. I quickly latched on to finance and was easily convinced by a CMC coach to attend the Wall Street Trek. While I was hesitant at first — since I have a different professional background from many of my peers who are also pursuing internships in finance — I was reminded to stay curious and understand that the trek could be just as much of a learning experience as it could be a recruiting trip. I prepared for the trek by speaking with second years about their internship and trek experiences and attending sessions through the Owen Finance Club (hosted by second years in the industry) to learn more about the functional areas within banking.

Looking back, I’m so glad that I booked that ticket to NYC and spent a few days immersed in the banking world. There is nothing like the first-hand experience of walking into beautiful buildings in Midtown Manhattan and the Financial District to learn about companies from Vanderbilt alumni. I vigilantly took notes about the nuances of the different companies we visited and wrote down industry-specific terms that I needed to look up between sessions. The amount of information we were given about each company, coupled with the degree of transparency offered through candid, honest advice by alumni, was a tremendous value-add. Additionally, I learned more about my classmates in those few days than I had in an entire quarter of classes.

The Wall Street Finance Trek reinforced my desire to pursue a career in finance and gave me relationships with my classmates and practitioners that I look forward to developing. —Hannah Turnbull

Teddy Reeve (MBA’21)

Image
Teddy Reeve

Knowing I wanted pursue a career in investment banking when coming into Owen, I had the Wall Street and Charlotte treks on my calendar at the beginning of school. Throughout the fall, a number of banks hosted information sessions on campus, and I looked forward to seeing these banks and others during the trek. I was eager to continue to learn more about their unique selling points and culture and hear from Vanderbilt alumni about their experience at their respective firms.

Leading up to the trek, the second-year MBAs and the Career Management Center (CMC) prepared us by familiarizing students with the investment banking industry and what the recruiting process entailed. This preparation proved to be an exceptional resource, as it provided everyone with a strong base understanding of how we should approach recruiting and make the most of our time on the trek.

Because of the condensed timeline and the broad spectrum of banks we visited, each of us was able to understand and evaluate how we could see ourselves fitting into the culture at certain banks. Each session gave us the opportunity to gather perspectives directly from bankers and to understand how the associate role differed between each bank. By end of the trek, we had met and developed a network of over 40 bankers we could continue to work with us as we began the formal recruiting process.

Additionally, this year provided a unique experience because of Owen’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, where we joined alumni in each city for Closing Bell to celebrate the school’s history. Each alum’s passion for the school was clear as they told stories of their time on campus, and it was a great reminder of why I came to Owen. —Teddy Reeve

The post Finance Treks Help Students Network with Bankers in NYC and Charlotte appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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26 Tips for Succeeding in Business School  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2019, 09:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: 26 Tips for Succeeding in Business School
With both application season and the academic year in full swing, we reached out to the faculty and staff of the Vanderbilt Business School to find out what students should know about thriving at b-school. Their advice draws on dozens of years of experience and touches all areas of business school, from studying the smart way to building relationships with fellow classmates. Without further ado, here are 26 pieces of advice for succeeding in b-school:

Cherrie Wilkerson, Assistant Dean, Young Professionals Programs

“Successful students are those that know WHY they are coming to business school. Students with a clear vision stay focused on their goals and work hard every day to achieve them. It’s not enough to be smart to succeed. Hard work is inevitable. Result: success.”

Emily Anderson, Senior Director, Career Management Center

“To get the most out of the business school experience, you have to dive in and be ready to be pushed out of your comfort zone at times. There are so many ways to grow professionally and personally, but you have to take advantage of the opportunities, resources, and connections and be ready to learn.”

Tim Vogus, Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Professor of Management

“I think success in business school requires discipline, flexibility, and a growth mindset. The discipline is evident when looking at the best students. They treat business school like a job. That means they’re actively engaged in the courses rather than being passive recipients. That active engagement takes the form of taking interpersonal risks in class (e.g., being willing to share failures or struggles as well as successes) and taking initiative customizing the material to your professional goals (i.e., actively applying the material). Flexibility entails acting appreciatively toward others (peers, professors, and staff); seeking to understand and learn from them even if they have different styles. A growth mindset means challenging yourself inside and outside the classroom while also having the humility to ask for help, ask questions, and speak up all in the pursuit of deeper and more lasting learning. If you embrace discipline, flexibility, and a growth mindset, you’re well on your way to optimizing business school.”

Bailey McChesney, Senior Associate Director, MBA Admissions

“While attending b-school, you will have a number of competing priorities: the career search, class, leadership development opportunities, clubs, making friends, etc. It is essential that you have the skills to prioritize what’s important to you and manage your time effectively. It sounds so simple but time management is one of the most important skills needed to thrive in business school (and after!).”

Sue Oldham, Associate Dean, MBA Operations

“1) Don’t discount a single person in your class. 2) When in doubt, give someone the benefit of the doubt. 3) Be nice.”

Consuela Knox, Director, Data Analytics and Reporting     

“Resilience is important to thriving in business school, and in life. You face new challenges almost daily. You have to be able to recover quickly from disappointments and other difficult circumstances. If challenges do not immediately yield the results for which you had hoped, learn from these experiences with gratitude. There is always tomorrow to implement new learnings and yield outcomes that are more favorable. Often the greater the risk, the greater the reward.”

Jessica Kennedy, Assistant Professor of Management

“Business school gives you a chance to re-chart the course of your career. People succeed here when they are curious, self-directed, and proactive. The resources here are excellent, and the hardest decisions address how to invest your precious time when there are so many valuable ways to spend it. That is why listening to your curiosity is so important.”

Betsy Karounos, Senior Associate Director, Academic Programming

“My top three skills are time management, openness to advice and critique, and investment in the entire community: peers, faculty, staff, and alumni.”

Lacy Nelson, Senior Associate Director, Alumni and Executive Career Management

“I believe that building authentic relationships among your fellow students, professors, and staff will serve you well not only as a student but also as an alum. Being in business requires trust, collaboration, and connections. Successful students are trustworthy collaborators. How do you want people to remember you after you leave Owen?”

Nancy Abbott, Adjunct Professor of Management

“Don’t go it alone. Your fellow students will be an invaluable resource for you. Be a great team member…do your share and also benefit from the unique skills of your teammates.”

Jeri West, Assistant Director, International Student Life

“Willingness to ask for help, build a social network for support and friendship, adjust when things don’t go as planned. Remember that no matter what happens, you’re still the same accomplished, talented ‘you’ that came into the program, and you’ll figure out what’s next.”

Sylvia Boyd, Director, Alumni Career Management and Employer Relations

“In my 25 plus years of watching students during their two years, it appears that the most successful ones walk in the door with a semi-empty canvas, ready to absorb, explore, and participate. From the start, getting to know their classmates and interacting with them in the form of networking. Not looking at their classmates of what their potential and future might hold but based on their past and current standing. Also, balancing between the required and the desired and ready to stretch beyond their comfort zones. Because I have been around for so long, I often encourage students to start early in thinking of themselves as alumni and learning what it takes to be a good alum by looking at the profiles of those who preceded them and finding ways to engage, connect, and network with them before graduating.”

Hunter Land, Assistant Professor of Accounting

“The business school calendar is short, and time moves quickly. Make sure that you dedicate time towards achieving your goals, whatever those may be. Good time management skills will help you to invest your time, not spend it.”

Sandy Kinnett, Senior Associate Director, Career Management Center Coach

“Being adaptable, tenacious, and driven is important, and so is being able to work with others and jumping right in and doing the work. Know when to lead and when to be the best team member you can be. Finally, have humble confidence.”

Juli Bennett, Executive Director, Executive MBA Programs

“Students who are most successful are those who are very intentional and learn from others. They truly learn to collaborate in a way that leverages diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ways of thinking. The outcomes of teams that leverage their differences cannot be matched.”

Maura Clark, Director of Admissions, MS Finance Program

“Vanderbilt Business students need to have hustle and be humble! Our students work harder than others, and it pays off. Be flexible to new places, ideas, and people — this will take you far!”

Liz Scowden, Assistant Director, Academic Advising

“One of the most important skills it takes to succeed in b-school is the ability to prioritize. Being on the academic advising side, I see students struggle in Mod I, and the most successful ones are those who know right out of the gate the importance of getting some things done and letting some things go. Mod I is more about prioritizing what to let go than balance. It’s a good lesson for the real work world!”

Melinda Allen, Executive Director, Leadership Development Programs

“There are many skills that will help you succeed in business school and many ways to approach your experience. My advice would be to approach business school with an openness to new experiences and perspectives, a desire to learn about all things — whether or not related to your desired career path — and a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone and take risks. These things will allow you to best maximize your business school experience and grow personally and professionally while here.”

Erick M. Mas, Postdoctoral Fellow, Marketing

“To succeed in business school, it takes curiosity. The goal of a business degree is to teach students how provide viable solutions that address managerial problems. But you cannot offer proper solutions to a problem you to not understand! A healthy level of intellectual curiosity is what you need to completely understand the multifaceted problems you will encounter in the business world — and in business school — and find the best solution.”

Stella Vazna, Senior Financial Analyst

“Time management is crucial to succeeding in business school. Balancing schoolwork with professional careers and family lives may seem daunting, but early planning can be a lifesaver. To-do lists, coordination with other C-team members, and early starts on assignments can make a tremendous difference.”

Kim Killingsworth, Director, International Recruiting and Relations

“Besides the hard skills that one brings and will be able to develop on a deeper level in the program, I consider one’s EQ (emotional quotient) very important. Being able to effectively and persuasively communicate and interact with others makes all the difference, especially with all the networking involved in the job search. I recommend that non-native speakers of English put themselves in work situations in which they practice these skills in English before embarking on the MBA. In the program, all will have the opportunity to further develop these skills through the MBA’s Communications Academy.”

Rob Schickler, Associate Director, Recruiting & Admissions

“Don’t just hang out with people who look like or have similar backgrounds to you. B-school will provide the opportunity to build relationships with people from all over the country and around the world who have worked in fascinating jobs who you would never have the chance to meet otherwise. Get to know as many classmates as you can, learn from their experiences, and share life with them for two years. That’s the best part of business school!”

Sarah Rigsby, Assistant Director, Student Life

“From a Student Life perspective, the students who are successful in business school are selective in the activities, clubs, case competitions, etc., that they choose to be involved in. Being involved is very important, but if you are stretched too thin, you won’t be able to devote enough time to the things that you are really passionate about. Finding a balance between academics and everything outside of the classroom is key.”

Heather Yockey, Associate Director, Employer Relations & Recruiting

“You need self-aware confidence to eagerly step into ambiguity and openly explore. Willingly pivot and adjust your sails throughout the journey. Steep yourself in a network that will far outlast the first role you gain out of business school.”

Jennifer Escalas, Professor of Marketing

“For those who are naturally shy, be brave and speak up in class! Just because someone else talks all the time doesn’t mean they are the smartest person in the room. I encourage everyone to participate.”

Kimberly Pace, Professor for the Practice of Communication

“1. Positive Attitude: I’m a firm believer that optimism makes you avoid unneeded stress and negative thinking. A positive attitude sees business school as an adventure and looks forward to the daily challenges. 2. Appreciative Inquiry: When you receive feedback, always be open to understanding ‘why’ without judgment. Stay curious longer. Ask good questions and listen deeply. 3. Disciplined Time Management: The Mod schedule is fast. Scheduling helps you to complete homework, prep for exams, attend classes, search for an internship, sleep, exercise, eat healthy, and make friends for life.”

The post 26 Tips for Succeeding in Business School appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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MBA Veterans Conference Connects Students with Recruiters  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2019, 09:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: MBA Veterans Conference Connects Students with Recruiters
Founded in 2009, the MBA Veterans Network® is a professional networking and advocacy organization for military veterans and alumni. The organization’s flagship event is the MBA Veterans Conference, which connects first- and second-year MBA students, all of whom are military veterans, with dozens of America’s leading MBA employers. Every fall, a group of Vanderbilt Business veterans attend the conference, building relationships with employers as well as veterans at other schools.

This year’s conference was held from October 10 to 11 in Chicago, IL. Three of Owen’s attendees — Severin Walstead, Kara Davis, and Will Szymczak — share their thoughts on the experience below.

Severin Walstead (MBA’21)

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Severin Walstead

Before even attending one class at Vanderbilt, I registered for the MBA Veterans Conference. I had no idea then what a good decision that would turn out to be. After nearly two months of being out of the service, I was getting to spend some time with veterans from all around the country. The conference was a phenomenal weekend that brought back a flood of memories and a reminder of the camaraderie I felt in the Navy. We are all now on a different part of our journey through life, and just speaking with each other was a comfort. You don’t realize until you have it again just how much you missed being a part of something bigger.

The recruiting aspect of the conference was amazing, because it was an opportunity to interact with companies that don’t recruit on-campus at Vanderbilt. This added to the already great opportunities that Owen offers. Whether it was speaking with Google or defense contractors or consultants, there were a ton of veterans on both sides of the recruiting coin to help attendees figure out what their next career was going to be.

I left the conference feeling like I had a better idea of what I wanted to do. Furthermore, I came back closer with my fellow veterans at Vandy. I can’t wait to go back one day and be a recruiter myself. I was really impressed with how much the people there wanted to help each one of us, and I want to be able to return that favor. You aren’t going to find a better conference that will provide you with endless candid conversations and great perspectives on making this transition to the private sector. I’m excited for what comes next (hopefully a job)! —Severin Walstead

Kara Davis (MBA’21)

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Kara Davis

When choosing an MBA conference to attend, I selected the MBA Veterans Conference knowing the companies attending already valued military experience and were there specifically to recruit individuals with that foundation. This took the pressure off my ability to communicate how my skills and experiences are transferable in a short amount of time.

Looking back, that just scratched the surface of the benefit of the conference. For me, the true value was hearing over 30 company presentations where veteran representatives explained their transitions from the service into successful civilian careers. They shed light on the ways a veteran skill set applied to their successful professional journeys at their current companies. As a candidate, I was able to see the application of military experience across industries and at specific companies in which I had an interest. The personal accounts helped further my understanding of how my skills and experiences transferred in ways I had not yet identified.

The aspect of the conference I appreciated most was the way it connected candidates and companies online well before the day of the conference. Showing interest in job postings and connecting with companies beforehand helped me capitalize on the time and money I invested in the conference; I arrived with interviews already scheduled and access to a list of the specific internships and jobs for which companies were recruiting. At events like this, time is limited, so I appreciated being able to plan how to prioritize my time networking.

Another benefit was networking with veterans representing companies I had never considered before the conference. Networking can be intimidating, so meeting a fellow veteran made it less intimidating and easier to connect. I highly recommend the conference to all Owen veterans. It was an enjoyable event which opened the door to multiple opportunities. —Kara Davis

Will Szymczak (MBA’20)

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Will Szymczak

As a second-year MBA student, I returned to the MBA Veterans Conference due to a great experience the previous year. Before the conference, I was able to express interest in potential employers and job postings. If the company was also interested, they could setup interviews well in advance, allowing me ample time to prepare. Interested companies also offer networking opportunities for happy hour, dinner, and breakfast the following day.

While the school does a great job giving students access to desirable employers, the MBA Veterans Conference offers a plethora of new companies I otherwise would not have access to. Additionally, the companies who do recruit on campus often send veterans to interview applicants at the conference, which enabled me to better connect my military experience to the roles I had applied for.

For me, the biggest benefit was the size of the conference. There were only about 500 participants and 65 companies. This facilitated my networking experience and allowed me to get the most out of the job fair. I never felt rushed when speaking with a company’s representative and was able to secure an additional interview from these added interactions. The shared experience of company representatives and conference participants made these interactions more meaningful and led to deeper connections in my opinion.

All-in-all, the conference was a valuable experience for me. The advice and candid feedback I received were invaluable. I would recommend attendance to any veteran seeking off-campus opportunities or who would feel more comfortable speaking with veterans as they begin their transition. —Will Szymczak

The post MBA Veterans Conference Connects Students with Recruiters appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Master of Marketing vs. MBA in Marketing: Which One is Right for You?  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2019, 09:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Master of Marketing vs. MBA in Marketing: Which One is Right for You?
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Amanda Fend

Students look to marketing graduate programs to expand their networks and gain advanced business knowledge and skills to enter a marketing career. If you’re an aspiring marketer, the next step is to decide whether or not a Master of Marketing or an MBA marketing concentration is the right fit for you. Both degrees are offered by business schools, but they are tailored for different experience levels. Amanda Fend, Senior Associate Director and Career Management Center Coach, talks about five factors you should consider when deciding between these two degrees.

Previous Work Experience

If you’re fresh out of undergrad, with less than two years of work experience, a Master of Marketing might be right for you. On the other hand, if you have 4-5 years of experience, an MBA would be a better choice. “If you have three years or more of work experience, an MBA is probably the right fit. If you have two years, I would strongly consider looking at the MBA, but you could look at both. And if you have less than two years of work experience, you should do the Master of Marketing,” Fend said.

Marketing Career Paths

MBA graduates with a marketing concentration usually (though not exclusively) apply to three types of marketing management jobs: brand manager, product manager, and marketing manager. Many corporate marketing departments actively look for MBAs and usually hire them directly into some kind of manager level, regardless of the official title.

Meanwhile, Master of Marketing graduates usually start in entry-level marketing jobs such as marketing analyst, marketing coordinator, and marketing assistant. However, these jobs are often more prestigious than what students would have secured with just an undergraduate degree, and the promotion timeline often moves more quickly. “You’re in a much better position (with a graduate degree) than an undergrad looking at the same entry-level role,” Fend said.

In fact, if they stay in marketing, Master of Marketing graduates will eventually attain the same level as an MBA graduate, though they’ll need a few years of work experience first. One example of this is Victoria Conlon (MMark’17), who started as a Senior Marketing Analyst at the Kraft Heinz Company and is now an Associate Brand Manager.

B-School Curriculum

Depending on the school, MBA and Master of Marketing students may take many of the same marketing courses. However, the MBA offers a wide range of classes that go beyond marketing. In addition to marketing, MBAs also take general management core classes in subjects like finance, operations, and strategy. These courses help MBAs hone a diverse set of skills for the business world.

On the other hand, Master of Marketing students take an exclusive deep dive into marketing to develop knowledge in this specific area. This is also why most marketing master’s programs only run about half the length of the MBA’s two-year timeframe, wrapping up in one year instead. “(The MBA curriculum) is a really diverse business foundation, versus the Master of Marketing, which is more of a specialized focus on just marketing. Master of Marketing students are essentially doing the marketing classes that the MBAs take,” Fend said.

Marketing Internships

Most MBA candidates complete an internship in the summer between the two academic years. For the internship, MBA students spend 10 to 12 weeks working full-time at companies like Mars Petcare and Mattel on structured marketing projects. Although Master of Marketing candidates can intern part-time during the academic year, their internship isn’t as formal or tied to a full-time offer as the one in the MBA program is. “(Master of Marketing students can spend) maybe 10 hours a week working in a company in Nashville to get experience, versus the MBA internship immersion, which is full time and usually a very specific role,” Fend said.

Program Research

If you’re still debating between a Master of Marketing and an MBA marketing concentration, Fend recommends that you do as much research as possible to make sure that the program you decide on is aligned with your goals. “It’s good to do all your homework and research into different options and programs, because at the end of the day, you’re committing a lot of time, resources, and effort into going to a master’s program,” she said.

The post Master of Marketing vs. MBA in Marketing: Which One is Right for You? appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Consulting Trek Offers Students a First-Hand Look at Top Firms  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Nov 2019, 10:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Consulting Trek Offers Students a First-Hand Look at Top Firms
Every year around fall break, the Vanderbilt Business Career Management Center (CMC) plans a day-long Consulting Trek to Atlanta. While there, current MBA students learn about the different firms and network with alumni and other practitioners. This year, students visited Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Deloitte, and PwC all in one day. Three first-year MBAs — Ishan Gulati, Kaitlyn Barrett Wilson, and Collin Costello — reflect on the experience below in their own words.

Ishan Gulati (MBA’21)

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Ishan Gulati

As someone who is looking at the consulting industry for the first time in their career, I am always searching for opportunities to enhance my knowledge of the industry and company culture in the space. The Atlanta Consulting Trek gave me the opportunity to network with Owen alumni and other practitioners from some of the top firms on their home turf.

In addition to visiting each of their offices and learning more about the company culture, we had a chance to do breakout sessions with senior consultants and managers to get a deeper idea of what consulting entails and how we could best prepare ourselves at Owen for both summer consulting internships and full-time employment.

The consulting space can be somewhat confusing for those who haven’t experienced it before, and many of the firms have different recruitment practices and cycles. Each of the firms gave us detailed information on how to recruit and what they were looking for from applicants.

Going into the Consulting Trek, I had a plethora of questions about how to optimize my applications and make the best use of my time leading up to (potential) interviews. After the trek, not only did I have answers to those questions, I had multiple contacts at each firm that I could reach out to if I had any doubts. Overall, I have a much better idea of what is expected and how I can best prepare for the summer and beyond! —Ishan Gulati

Kaitlyn Barrett Wilson (MBA’21)

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Kaitlyn Barrett Wilson

I came to Owen seeking to broaden my strategy skillset and have an impact in business and the community. During the first few days of classes, the Owen Strategy & Consulting Club told us about the annual Consulting Trek to Atlanta, where we’d have the opportunity to meet with strategy consultants at five different firms, and I was immediately interested. Now, a few weeks after the trip, a few main benefits stand out to me.

First, meeting more practitioners, including many Owen alum, was very helpful in both learning more about the roles and building connections as I start the recruiting process. Many of the consultants were MBA students only a few years ago themselves, so they had very relevant experiences and perspectives to share.

Additionally, the trip helped me better understand the cultures and roles across firms. It can be hard to see differences when just talking to consultants on the phone or during their recruiting trips to Owen, but you can really start to visualize what working at each firm would be like when you visit the offices and talk to many team members.

Finally, I don’t think I’d be the only person to tell you that getting to spend time with my classmates was also a highlight of the trip. Traveling together was a great way to get to know some people who I hadn’t shared a class with yet. Because we had just finished up first mod exams from our first mod a few days prior, we were all excited to decompress and celebrate at the end of the trip. Owen really does feel like a family! —Kaitlyn Barrett Wilson

Collin Costello (MBA’21)

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Collin Costello

Participating in the Consulting Trek provided us with a unique opportunity to get a first-hand look at the offices of many of the top consulting firms in Atlanta as well as network with the Owen alumni who are currently working for these firms. As many of us on the trek were career switchers, being able to see the offices and meet the practitioners in person gave us the critical insight to assess not only if a career in consulting is the right choice, but also which firms resonated with us culturally.

Hearing from alumni about their recent client engagements and about their experiences during the recruiting process was incredibly helpful. Learning about some of the projects currently in their pipeline opened my eyes to the behind-the-scenes impact that consultants often have. Many of the younger alumni vividly remembered being in our shoes and had great advice for how to balance the academic demands of Mod II while also ramping up case interview preparations. I would highly recommend the Consulting Trek to any students who think they may want to explore a career in consulting.

The Consulting Trek was not all business, though! Following the conclusion of a networking happy hour hosted by one of the firms on Thursday night, I was joined by my classmates at a local pub to catch the second half of Thursday Night Football and to unwind before a packed schedule on Friday. Then after our last official event on Friday, many of us went to a nearby restaurant to enjoy a celebratory dinner to cap off the official end of Mod I. A few lucky students were even able to secure last-minute tickets for the Atlanta Braves playoff baseball game and rejoined the rest of the group after the game! —Collin Costello

The post Consulting Trek Offers Students a First-Hand Look at Top Firms appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Dean’s Ranking Roundup: 2019  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 07:37
FROM Owen Press Releases: Dean’s Ranking Roundup: 2019
Fall is always a busy time on campus, and this year, we have much to be thankful for: strong alumni support, winning case study teams, notable faculty impact, employment success, and annual rankings. Of particular note, the fall employer recruiting season is off to a fast start. Thus far, we surpassed last year’s historic employment highs, with over two-thirds of our second year’s students having job offers to discuss at Thanksgiving! And in the volatile MBA ranking world, this fall delivered gains in some key publications and slips in others – below is a rundown:

In a five-year look at alumni careers, Forbes moved Vanderbilt MBA up 19 spaces to #30 in its ROI metric. This ranking showed the relative progress our graduates have made as the economy strengthened.

In one of the most volatile rankings, Bloomberg BusinessWeek pushed Vanderbilt MBA from #34 for #21 last year, only to slide back to #30 this fall. That ranking considered US schools and is broken down into four indexes, Compensation, Networking, Learning, and Entrepreneurship.

The Vanderbilt MBA scored #22 among US schools (#29 globally) in the Economist’s annual “Which MBA?” rankings. This is a small decline from last year, when we ranked 20th in the US. The Economist looks at 21 individual dimensions that they roll up into 4 broader categories. Owen received high marks for opening new career opportunities, where we ranked #15 among US Schools (#20 globally).

Latin American outlet América Economía Global MBA ranking placed Vanderbilt MBA #15 in the US (#30 globally).

In another global publication, Vanderbilt’s Executive MBA programs rose to #13 among U.S.-only programs (#73 globally) in Financial Times. Owen’s strong positions in salary increase, female students, and FT’s career progress ranking (relative to the US and globally) led to the year-over-year improvement.

This week in Princeton Review, Owen collected six top-10 ratings, including general areas like #2 for Best Administered, #4 for Best Professors, #6 Best Campus Environment, #4 for Most Family-Friendly, along with two-shout outs for concentration: #2 for best MBA in Human Resources and #8 for Operations.

Each rankings provide data and another viewpoint of our school. We will study and learn from these results. Beyond the movement in any individual ranking, I am most excited about our progress in the fundamentals — like helping our students open exciting, well-paying, careers. Our growing faculty is more diverse than ever and continues to receive national recognition for their impact in the classroom and practice. I am proud of our progress to deliver world-class business education on a personal-scale.

—Dean M. Eric Johnson

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Vanderbilt Business Hosts the National MBA Human Capital Case Competit  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 07:37
FROM Owen Press Releases: Vanderbilt Business Hosts the National MBA Human Capital Case Competition, Vanderbilt Team Places Second
Hosted at Vanderbilt Business for more than a decade, the National MBA Human Capital Case Competition (HCCC) challenges participants to come up with solutions to complex hiring, staffing, and performance issues. The competition gives MBA candidates from around the country a chance to think critically about human resource issues and network extensively with corporate sponsors Deloitte Consulting and HP Inc.

This year, 12 teams participated in the 13th annual competition from October 31 to November 2. Below, Andy Hampson (MBA’21), a member of this year’s planning team and director of next year’s competition, explains more about this year’s case and then reveals the winners. Later on, Marley McMillan (MBA’21) describes what it was like to participate in the competition and earn second place alongside her fellow first-year teammates Kathryn Pelino, Harry Smith, Yvonne Uduba, and JD Yeh.

Andy Hampson (MBA’21)

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Andy Hampson

Last weekend, competing business schools from across the country gathered in Nashville to present their cases to the judges, flanked by practitioners from competition sponsors Deloitte and HP. This year, the case centered on an emerging logistics firm in Brazil and asked how the company could sustainably scale its operations and address industry-specific challenges.

In the end, the team representing the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business took home the top prize of $10,000. Teams representing Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business placed second and third, respectively.

Outside of the competition time, teams took advantage of Nashville’s “Southern Hospitality” and enjoyed a networking reception at the Aertson Midtown on Thursday, followed by an evening of line dancing and live country music on Friday, with sponsors and peers alike at Wildhorse Saloon.

The finalist teams were announced at the Wildhorse Saloon, and the excitement of the evening carried into Saturday as the three teams presented in front of the competing schools and sponsor representatives. Teams also delved into intimate small group discussions to talk about careers in human capital with representatives from Deloitte and HP.

On Saturday, judges formally announced the winning team, and Dean Johnson offered closing remarks to the group, highlighting Owen’s continued emphasis on human capital and organizational performance in business school and beyond.

On behalf of the first-year planning team members, I want to thank members of the second-year planning team — Brenna Brown, Ryan Smith, and Mariam Amusan (all MBA’20) — for their hard work and mentorship in planning this outstanding case competition. The Human Capital Case Competition Planning Committee would also like to thank the sponsor teams, faculty, staff, and competing schools for their support and participation in this year’s event. We are looking forward to carrying that legacy of excellence forward next year. —Andy Hampson

Marley McMillan (MBA’21)

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Marley McMillan

Participating in the 2019 National MBA Human Capital Case Competition has been a highlight of my first-year experience at Owen. In a few words, the competition was rigorous, collaborative, exciting, and, most of all, fun. The team experience was especially rewarding, and I am proud of how Harry, JD, Kathryn, Yvonne and I achieved interdependence, supported one another, and adapted to unexpected twists in the competition.

Coming from a non-traditional background, I gained great insight working with this diverse team to assess the human capital implications of a complex business case. As an athlete, I found the nature of the competition to be highly motivating, and we were thrilled to represent Vanderbilt in the finals for the first time in 10 years, ultimately taking second place. I leave the competition with improved problem-solving and presentation skills, and I am grateful for the unique bond formed with classmates turned teammates. Together, we look forward to building on the success of this year and coaching Vanderbilt’s team to an equally gratifying experience in 2020. —Marley McMillan

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Students Solve Real-World Marketing Challenges During BrandWeek  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 08:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Students Solve Real-World Marketing Challenges During BrandWeek
Over fall break, Master of Marketing students and MBA candidates with an interest in marketing and/or brand management participate in BrandWeek, a three-day series of marketing challenges issued by clients. Teams are given a challenge and have anywhere between a few hours or days to come up with a plan and presentation for their client. Below, three MBAs reflect on their BrandWeek experiences this year.

M’Kenzie Steel (MBA’21)

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M’Kenzie Steel

During the fall break, we were offered a chance to compete in BrandWeek. This three-day workshop challenged our creative and analytical skills in real-world scenarios. Students from the MBA and Master of Marketing programs were randomly organized into teams of 7-8 students. Each day, we were presented with marketing challenges from companies in the Nashville area, including Mars Petcare, The Graduate Hotel, Bearded Iris, and Franklin Distillery. The industries ranged from large CPG companies to hospitality to local alcohol brands.

The company would present their unique marketing problem(s), then we would ask relevant questions and break out to our smaller groups. Once we broke out into smaller groups, we were tasked with determining the cause of the problem, figuring out a solution, creating a presentation, and then presenting in front of the brand’s representatives. This structure forced us to think creatively and fast. Once we presented in front of the judges, the brand representatives would select winners and give every team immediate feedback. There is not another time in your career where you will get this type of access to such a wide range of companies, present your unique ideas to them, and then receive direct and applicable feedback.

Overall, this was a great experience to work directly with companies that are just starting and companies with established brand recognition. It was also an opportunity for me to strengthen my leadership skills as well as my creative skills in a fast-paced setting. I am especially thankful to BrandWeek because I am now a fan of the Homestyle craft beer from the local Nashville brewery, Bearded Iris! —M’Kenzie Steel

Casey Wood (MBA’21)

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Casey Wood

Prior to attending Owen for my MBA, I had extensive experience in operations with some cross-departmental projects in marketing. It was during those projects that I discovered a passion that pushed me to attend graduate school. I have been focused on progressing my marketing career ever since, and the single most significant experience that stands out above all others is BrandWeek.

The program was incredibly intellectually stimulating, as it introduced us to real-world companies that needed creative solutions to the issues they faced. The groups were integrated between MBA and Master of Marketing students, which provided a diverse learning environment. This also allowed our different perspectives to contribute to the ultimate goal of providing innovative solutions to the problems facing a variety of brands.

Most importantly, the projects make the education we receive here at Owen truly come alive – we are able to apply the foundations and frameworks we have learned about in class to these business issues. It was this transition from hypothetical to concrete that I found most thought-provoking and powerful. Furthermore, the hands-on experience that BrandWeek provided was extremely valuable to me, as someone who is looking to switch careers and enter a new domain. As I embark on my new career path, I feel that the practical knowledge I gained during the cases provided a new chapter to weave into my personal narrative, with BrandWeek as a focal point.

Overall, because of BrandWeek I feel more confident in my abilities and understanding of marketing and look forward to applying them to both academics here at Owen and in professional settings during my career. I highly suggest anyone interested in marketing take the time and immerse themselves in this extremely useful experience. —Casey Wood

Tia [b]Secasiu (MBA’21)[/b]

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Tia Secasiu

Brand Week is a great opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of a marketer. Since I was in product development before coming to Owen, it was my first time putting on the marketing hat, and the BrandWeek cases were an interesting way to do it.

Throughout the week, we were divided into teams of MBAs and Master of Marketing students, and we worked on one big marketing case for Mars Petcare as well as a few other mini cases each day. Every day, local businesses around greater Nashville came to present their marketing puzzles. Each team would work on their ideas, and we would all present to the other teams as well as the businesses. Not only were there plenty of opportunities to hone your teamwork skills, but getting to watch other teams present their ideas provided an opportunity to see how other people thought through the same problems.

Working with a company as established as Mars on a greater marketing plan as well as some smaller local companies with more specific focus provided a great insight into the role of a marketer. BrandWeek was a fast-paced, fun way to practice solving marketing puzzles and working in cross-functional teams. —Tia Secasiu

The post Students Solve Real-World Marketing Challenges During BrandWeek appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Vanderbilt MS Finance Class of 2019 Sets New Record for Highest Averag  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2019, 08:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Vanderbilt MS Finance Class of 2019 Sets New Record for Highest Average Base Salary
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Class of 2019 graduates from the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program at Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management reported average base salary earnings of $78,343. This is a significant increase from last year’s figure of $71,530 and the highest average base salary in the program’s history.

The Vanderbilt MSF program has an excellent track record of employment outcomes, and this trend continued with the Class of 2019, with 100 percent of graduates accepting an offer within just three months of graduation.

Investment banking was the most popular sector for employment this year, with 53 percent of graduates accepting positions in the field, setting a new record for the program. However, many graduates also pursued work in other areas, including financial consulting, investment research, management consulting, real estate, corporate finance, and private equity.

Graduates also found equal variety in terms of geographic placement, accepting positions all over the country. New York City was the most popular metro area, followed by Nashville, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Chicago.

The Career Management Center begins working with MSF students before they even set foot on campus. “Our focus on networking along with our tailored virtual career programming — that starts job search preparation even before classes begin — gives our students a key competitive advantage,” said Megan Nichols, Associate Director of the Career Management Center.

Nichols also credits the Vanderbilt alumni network, in particular fellow MSF graduates, with helping the Class of 2019 secure their positions. Almost one-quarter of accepted offers came from alumni referrals this year. “A loyal and accessible alumni network is essential in today’s competitive job market, and we would not be able to achieve this level of employment outcomes without the support of incredible Vanderbilt alumni,” she said.

A summary of this year’s MSF employment report may be viewed here.

To learn more about the MSF program at Vanderbilt, discover the ROI of a Master of Science in Finance or meet the Class of 2020.

Want to start your career in finance with these kinds of outcomes? Click here to apply to the MSF program.

The post Vanderbilt MS Finance Class of 2019 Sets New Record for Highest Average Base Salary appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Five Types of Consulting Careers for Business Students  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2019, 08:01
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FROM Owen Press Releases: Five Types of Consulting Careers for Business Students
A career in corporate consulting can encompass anything from helping with implementation of enterprise software to cutting costs for a manufacturing plant. Consultants are essentially doctors for businesses, diagnosing an organization’s toughest problems and prescribing a set of solutions.

To help demystify the wide world of consulting, we spoke with Emily Anderson, Senior Director at the Career Management Center (CMC), to learn about the different consulting opportunities available. Here is a guide to different types of consultant roles and which ones are the best fit for business-minded students:

Management Consulting

Management consulting is a popular career for students seeking constant intellectual challenges, exposure to top company executives, a collaborative work environment, and frequent travel opportunities. There are three major sources of recruiting:

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Students snap a picture outside the Deloitte Atlanta office on the 2019 Consulting Trek

The long hours and hard work typically associated with management consulting pay off in the form of generous compensation and lucrative exit opportunities. Through constant exposure to a diverse array of business problems, management consultants develop a variety of business skills that equip them for future success in specialized leadership roles.

“(A firm’s) primary objective is that you have good client-facing skills, good problem-solving skills, good analytical skills, and then it can be applied to various industries and types of problems,” Anderson explained.

Because management consulting values analytical ability over industry expertise, it’s an attractive career for students from a wide variety of backgrounds, and many career switchers leverage an MBA program to make the pivot into management consulting. Bennet Hayes (MBA’18) was a professional poker player for six years before he attended business school and subsequently landed a consulting role at BCG. Alejandra Martinez (MBA’19) pivoted midway through her business school experience from investment banking at Bank of America to management consulting at McKinsey. Regardless of background, all successful management consultants share an enthusiasm for problem-solving and a sharp analytical mindset.

Industry Consulting: Healthcare, Operations, Public Sector

Due to the generalist model of most management consulting firms, breaking into a specific field like healthcare consulting is a less common path for entry-level consultants. “There’s not a lot of firms that specialize in a particular vertical,” Anderson explained. “(At) firms like Bain, BCG, and Deloitte in the strategy practice areas, you might ultimately be able to go down a specialization road, but you’re going to come in (as a generalist). (At) KPMG, PwC, EY, Infosys, they may have a vertical, and you might be able to eventually get in there, but usually you get access to the firm and then you would have to interview for the practice area, too.”

That being said, students with strong demonstrated interest and experience in a particular field can successfully secure industry consulting positions, though it’s the exception to the rule. For example, Cameron Phipps (MBA’19), a Senior Associate on PwC’s Healthcare Advisory Team, earned undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Community Health and worked at a health information technology company before enrolling in business school. While at Vanderbilt Business, he pursued an MBA concentration in healthcare and interned at a pharmaceuticals company, leveraging his experience to ultimately land a healthcare consulting role at PwC.

Human Capital Consulting

As companies become even more complex and global, strategic people management is critical to driving organizational success. For students interested in the human side of business, human capital consulting may be an excellent fit. “(Human capital consulting) is all about how client firms are utilizing their human capital assets, so a lot around workforce planning, compensation structure, retention, (and) change management,” Anderson explained.

Students can specialize directly in human capital consulting at Big 4 firms by recruiting for Deloitte Human CapitalEY People Advisory ServicesKPMG People and Change, or PWC People and Change. MBA students may find that concentrating in a related field like Human & Organizational Performance is helpful for recruiting. However, this may not be necessary to land a human capital consulting role, depending on the firm.

Internal Consulting

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Students snap a group picture at the HD Supply office during the 2018 Corporate Strategy Trek

Many major companies have in-house consulting groups, like Google BizOps or Disney Corporate Strategy & Business Development. These internal consulting practices work from within to solve organizational challenges and may be a great career path for students with a clear idea of the company or industry they want to work for. Internal consultants develop deep business expertise that can ultimately serve as a stepping stone up to a leadership position within the company.

Political and Economic Consulting

While not typical careers for most business school students, political and economic consulting represent the more specialized, academic end of the corporate consulting spectrum. Political consultants craft campaigns for public officials on the local, state, or national level, while economic consulting firms work across public and private sector organizations, conducting economic research and analysis at the intersection of business, economics, and law.

“Those (fields) are more (for) specialty hires,” Anderson said. “You would find either PhDs, if they’re straight out of school, or (candidates with) multiple years of industry experience.”

Consulting is a broad field that can lead to a vast array of fulfilling careers. Students who crave intellectual challenge, rigorous analysis, and collaborative teamwork should explore different types of consultant roles to see what might be a fit.

The post Five Types of Consulting Careers for Business Students appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Revamped Dean’s Scholars Program to Launch in Fall 2020  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Dec 2019, 09:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Revamped Dean’s Scholars Program to Launch in Fall 2020
Vanderbilt Business has redesigned the Dean’s Scholars Award Program, the flagship scholarship program at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management. Selected annually from the incoming MBA class, Dean’s Scholars will each receive a full-tuition scholarship. One Dean’s Scholar will also be selected from each year’s cohort to become the Dean’s Scholar Award Winner and receive an additional $15,000 yearly stipend.

In addition to the full-tuition scholarship, Dean’s Scholars enjoy exclusive networking engagements with the Dean and receive unmatched access to key alumni and corporate visitors. They also commit to working with the administration and other students on strategic initiatives that enhance the Vanderbilt Business experience.

“Over the years, our Dean’s Scholars have made substantial and positive impacts at school and in the business world,” said M. Eric Johnson, Ralph Owen Dean and Bruce D. Henderson Professor of Strategy. “I believe this redesign will magnify those impacts and provide exceptional opportunities for the next generation of scholars.”

The inaugural award will be extended to MBA students enrolling Fall 2020. Applicants to the Vanderbilt MBA program who apply during Round 1 or Round 2 will be automatically considered for the new Dean’s Scholars Award Program.

Strong candidates for the program will exhibit outstanding academic credentials, notable professional accomplishments, well-defined career goals, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and strong leadership skills. They will also display a commitment to the Vanderbilt Business mission and core values.

“Attracting top talent starts with intentional and impactful scholarships,” says Sue Oldham, Associate Dean, MBA Operations. “Our Dean’s Scholar program is a bold statement that affordability and recognition of merit is at the forefront of our recruiting approach.”

Selected Dean’s Scholars Award recipients will be invited to attend Scholars Day. During Scholars Day, Dean’s Scholars will participate in a series of interviews and events. The Dean’s Scholars Award Advisory and Selection Committee will select the Dean’s Scholar Award Winner and name the rest of the cohort Dean’s Scholars.

In order to be considered as the Dean’s Scholar Award Winner and receive the $15,000 yearly stipend, candidates must submit a short essay and attend Scholars Day on Vanderbilt’s campus in the spring.

For more information about the Dean’s Scholars program, visit the scholarships page.

The post Revamped Dean’s Scholars Program to Launch in Fall 2020 appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Vanderbilt Takes First Place at Deloitte Supply Chain Challenge  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Dec 2019, 11:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Vanderbilt Takes First Place at Deloitte Supply Chain Challenge
Vanderbilt Business students Matthew Barbar, Neha Rastogi, Scott Russo, and Ryan Sanford (all MBA’21) won Deloitte SCNO’s 7th Annual Supply Chain Challenge, earning a $5,000 prize.

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(L to R) Matthew Barbar, Neha Rastogi, Scott Russo, Ryan Sanford

The Vanderbilt students beat out teams from Ohio State, Purdue, Penn State, Wisconsin, University of Southern California, University of Tennessee, Brigham Young, and Georgia Tech in a two-round competition designed to address global supply chain challenges for multinational corporations. Teams from Brigham Young and Georgia Tech tied for second place.

Vanderbilt initially hosted a four-team on-campus regional event on November 1, with the winning team advancing to the finals, hosted at Ohio State on November 21.

“OSU was very hospitable, and I am thankful to them for hosting us,” said Rastogi. “I enjoyed working alongside a great team and am thankful for the opportunity.”

In the regional event, teams were given 48 hours to design a solution for GE Healthcare to optimize processes and reduce costs at production facilities located around the world. Judges included Vanderbilt professors and representatives from Deloitte. The winning teams from each participating school convened in Columbus at the end of the month, where they were given 12 hours to solve a logistics issue for a fictional corporation modeled after Caterpillar. Deloitte Representatives from Caterpillar and Deloitte judged the final presentations.

“It was extremely fast-paced,” said Sanford. “When we turned in our recommendation (with 5 minutes to spare) we all remarked that it felt like a 12-hour sprint, after which we were completely exhausted.”

In the end, judges cited the Vanderbilt team’s digital-based solution, focus on financial impact, and presentation flow as factors in their first-place finish. The team also credited their breadth of functional and industry expertise. “We wanted a diverse group in terms of our backgrounds in the workforce,” said Russo. “Matt and I come from manufacturing/supply chain backgrounds, whereas Neha worked in Healthcare, and Ryan had a tech background. We thought because of our backgrounds, we could kind of cover all potential aspects in terms of what kind of case we could get.”

This was Vanderbilt’s first year to participate in the annual event, which made the first place finish sweeter for the team.

“I thought it was a really exciting opportunity to represent Owen and see where we stand within a competitive field,” said Barbar. “The fact that this is Vanderbilt’s first time in the competition…it was cool to go in there and show well for Vanderbilt.”

“We were honored by the opportunity to represent Vanderbilt in the championship round and are excited to bring the trophy home to Owen,” added Sanford.

The post Vanderbilt Takes First Place at Deloitte Supply Chain Challenge appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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5 Ways a Summer Immersion Can Set Your Career on the Right Track  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2019, 09:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: 5 Ways a Summer Immersion Can Set Your Career on the Right Track
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Greg Harvey

Summer break is a great time for college students to relax and have fun. However, it can also be a time of growth and learning thanks to summer programs like Vanderbilt Business School’s Accelerator® Summer Business Immersion. Accelerator is a month-long program where students complete four consulting projects for real-life companies and learn from renowned business professors in the classroom.

“Accelerator® Summer Business Immersion is unique in that… students are working on real-world problems that companies are currently facing and want a fresh perspective (on). It’s not just case studies and classroom learning. It’s really hands on,” said Greg Harvey, Director of Accelerator. Harvey explained five ways that attending Accelerator can help your career:

Exposure to Different Careers

Accelerator is open to students regardless of their majors. “We’ve had art majors, philosophy majors, and political science majors,” Harvey said. Every week, students work on a different project and learn about a different function, such as marketing or operations. The diversity of clients and roles opens students’ minds to a variety of potential career options. For example, an English major might become interested in marketing and realize they could become a content marketer instead of a book author. “I think Accelerator does a really good job of showcasing different career paths through the structure (of the program) and the nature of students working as consultants and teams during the month,” Harvey added.

Hands-On Learning

Accelerator merges classroom learning and real-world problem-solving. Each team of students is assigned an MBA coach and also receives feedback from faculty members and executives while working on their projects. The coach, faculty, and executives work with the students to fix mistakes and learn from them. “I like to remind students that this really is a safe place to learn and make mistakes. We’re not setting students up to fail,” Harvey said. “We’re not going to give students the answers, but we’re going to help them come up with viable solutions to present.”

Résumé Builder

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The experience of working on four different consulting projects and presenting them to the company executives is a great addition to any college student’s résumé. It’s especially helpful for students who’ve finished their first year of college but need something more on their résumé, since it can be difficult to land an internship as a freshman. “We found that the earlier students do Accelerator, the better,” Harvey said. Accelerator is also beneficial to recent graduates who want to make a career change and need experience in business to apply for relevant internships and jobs.

Networking

During Accelerator, students work in teams of seven or eight people. It can be challenging to collaborate with so many peers since everyone has different opinions, but interacting with highly motivated individuals can be very rewarding. “(Students) are not just networking with their coaches, faculty, and executives, but they really build this new network of their colleagues and fellow students that they go on to have not just a social relationship with but potentially do business (together) down the road,” Harvey said.

Stories for Interviews

One of the biggest long-term benefits of Accelerator are stories to tell in interviews for future internships and jobs. Harvey says that interviewers pay attention to the stories of potential candidates because they reveal a lot about the person’s personality and background. “I’m really amazed at how much students fall back on their Accelerator experience in interviews,” he said. “The cool part is that (students) really have this amazing experience that HR and hiring managers want to hear and learn about more.”

The post 5 Ways a Summer Immersion Can Set Your Career on the Right Track appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Vanderbilt Ventures Insights: Theraphysics, Dr. Michael Burcham  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2019, 09:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Vanderbilt Ventures Insights: Theraphysics, Dr. Michael Burcham
Presented by the Owen Venture and Entrepreneurship Club (OVEC), the Vanderbilt Ventures Insights Podcast features interviews with entrepreneurs, educators, innovators, and investors from the greater Vanderbilt and Nashville communities.

In their first episode, Dr. Michael Burcham, a serial entrepreneur and Professor of Entrepreneurship and Healthcare Innovation at Vanderbilt Business, tells the story of his first business, Theraphysics.

The post Vanderbilt Ventures Insights: Theraphysics, Dr. Michael Burcham appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Re: Vanderbilt MBA Admissions and Related Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2019, 09:10
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So much useful info, thank you guys
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It Doesn’t Matter How Nicely You Wrap That Gift — Except When It Does  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2019, 13:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: It Doesn’t Matter How Nicely You Wrap That Gift — Except When It Does
The post It Doesn’t Matter How Nicely You Wrap That Gift — Except When It Does appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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It Doesn’t Matter How Nicely You Wrap That Gift — Except When It Does   [#permalink] 05 Dec 2019, 13:01

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